This week in Winning Post

The new-season three-year-olds continue their build-up to the spring majors this Saturday with features in both major cities.

In Sydney it's the San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill, where Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Blue Diamond runner-up Pariah will look to get his classic year off to a winning start.

In Melbourne, the young colts and gelding match motors in the Mitchell McKenzie Stakes.

Our form coverage kicks off on Friday with full form guides for the meetings at bet365 Geelong synthetic and Murwillumbah plus fields, colours and selections for canberra and Ipswich.

The metro racing this Saturday is at Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Rosehill in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide, Gold Coast in Queensland and Belmont in Perth.

Winning Post carries full-colour liftout guides for all those meetings plus Donald (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Newcastle (NSW edition) and Mackay (Queensland edition), as well as fields, tips, ratings and/or colours for other TAB Saturday cards.

On Sunday we've got liftout formguides for four more TAB meetings plus fields, ratings, tips and colours for a stack more Sunday and Monday programs.

Don't forget Winning Post now carries trackwork reports for all four Melbourne training tracks, all three in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide and a general Brisbane report.

Away from the form, we've got news columns from Queensland, NSW, six Victorian districts, SA and Tasmania.

Our readers have their say on page 4, while further back in the book Shane Templeton reminisces, Paul Richards presents his unique take on the sport, Tony Kneebone brings you his Snippets column and Number Cruncher delivers the stats that matter.

Winning Post costs $5 and is available Thursday afternoon in selected Melbourne newsagents, the crack of dawn Friday elsewhere.

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Inside Winning Post August 26 edition you'll find liftout form guides for:
Bet365 Geelong, Murwillumbah
Moonee Valley, Rosehill, Morphettville, Gold Coast, Belmont, Donald (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Newcastle (NSW edition), Mackay (Qld edition)
Cranbourne, Wyong, Sunshine Coast, Devonport
Who is the best racehorse in the world?
Eye Catchers
Each week Paul Richards identifies horses from recent race meetings that he believes are ready to win. Here we update you when they are about to have their next start.
Royal Randwick Saturday - R5 N6 Calculated 9th
Royal Randwick Saturday - R5 N7 Dracarys 1st
Royal Randwick Saturday - R7 N5 Rocket Commander 4th
Royal Randwick Saturday - R8 N3 Burning Passion 3rd
Caulfield Saturday - R6 N9 Evil Cry 9th
Caulfield Saturday - R8 N3 Burning Passion SCR
Caulfield Saturday - R9 N14 Ozi Choice 3rd
Letter of the Week

No Karasi? Come on!

I can’t let John Adams’s field of Australia’s best steeplechasers of the metric era (19/8) pass without comment.
I can understand Crisp not being in there, given that he didn’t race in Australia after July 1970 and that his UK feats were achieved in a UK stable.
However, the disclaimer that “only performances in Australia and New Zealand were considered” is a lame excuse for leaving out the greatest Australian-trained international performer of the era, Karasi.
If we are rating Australian steeplechasers, clearly Karasi should be included as he was Australian-trained throughout his career.
If, on the other hand, we are rating performances in Australian steeplechases, why would results in New Zealand count but not Japan?
Where is the logic?
And if only Australasian performances were considered, why mention that Gogong “later had a successful career in America over jumps”, that So And So “later raced successfully over jumps in Italy and England” or that St Steven won the Nakayama Grand Jump?
From seven starts in steeplechases, Karasi won more than $2.9 million. I haven’t done the maths, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s more than Adams’s 12-horse field won over jumps between them.
He won the Nakayama Grand Jump, a race open to the world’s best, not once but three times.
And yet Adams apparently rates him below Leading Bounty. No knock on Leading Bounty, but please.
Judging by his summary of each horse’s achievements Adams seems obsessed by weight carried over the minimum. Isn’t the opposition a horse is beating more relevant?
In Japan, Karasi beat the host nation’s best plus the best of the overseas raiders attracted by a huge prize purse (by jumps standards).
Many of the horses in Adams’s “best of the best”, especially the more recent ones, were racing mainly against failed flat stayers.
If you want to line up the form, consider that in Karasi’s last Grand Jump win (2007), he came up against Personal Drum, winner of the previous year’s Grand National and Hiskens steeples.
Karasi won, Personal Drum ran sixth, beaten 10 lengths. They both carried 63.5kg.
Adams points out that in Leading Bounty’s second Grand National win, he had 67kg on a minimum of 61.5kg.
Well done him, but the question is who had the minimum 61.5kg?
The answer is Stacey Jones (ran second, only steeple win was in a New Zealand maiden), Down to Zero (third, steeplechase record 15: 0-1-1) and Big Zap (fifth, won a Crisp but steeplechase record 19: 1-2-0).
Eight ran in that Grand National, of which six completed the course.
In his Grand Jumps, Karasi faced fields of 14, 15 and 15.
The quality of this animal is further indicated by his fourth in Ethereal’s Melbourne Cup.
I realise everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but I’d have thought the inclusion of Karasi in the best dozen Australian chasers of the metric era would be what the Americans call a no-brainer.

Alfie Law
Windsor (Vic)
Today's Racing
Tuesday 22 August
Wednesday 23 August
Thursday 24 August
Social Networking

Paul Richards introduces a fun formula each week designed to come up with the odd winner for those looking for a small interest or to see if systems really work. On this page he subjects Saturday's fields to one of those systems: